Attack on Taslima Nasreen : Most reprehensible

By Dr.M.K. Sherwani, LL.D

The brutal attack on Taslima Nasreen in Hyderabad once again brings to the forefront the perverted, outrageous and misconceived religious frenzy of those Muslims who lack total sensitivity to the problems confronting the community. It reflects the mental bankruptcy of those who think that the resplendent horizons of Islam can be blurred by the rubbish writings and silly utterances of the non-entities like Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasreen.

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The worst part of this gory incident is that the mob was led by three legislators of Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen whose President Mr. Salahuddin Owaisi has praised chivalry of his party men in attacking a woman. Mr. Owaisi is a type of politician, who once, while addressing a Muslim convention in Lucknow after the demolition of Babri Mosque, in his emotional outburst, declared that the Constitution of India must be thrown into Gomti ( a river which passes through Lucknow). His statement was met with strong protest from the Muslim audience and he had to leave the dais.

Further, the contention that the government of India has hurt the religious susceptibilities of Muslims by granting visa to her has no basis.

India, despite all its infirmities, inequities, conspicuous discriminations and constantly serious erosion of its secular values, remains a pluralistic and vibrant society. The vast multitudes of Hindus and Muslims believe in a peaceful coexistence and multi-cultural ethos which have not lost their significance even after the fascist forces have been making unrelenting endeavor over the last more than five decades. And, no doubt, if there is any Fundamental Right in the Indian Constitution which is equally available to all, then certainly it is the ‘FREEDOM OF SPEECH’. To buttress my viewpoint, let me quote the concluding observation by a renowned journalist Mr. Ziyaul Haque, while writing in 2000 the review of my book ‘Secular Horror – A Real Story of Fifteen years ordeal with Indian secularism’( the book is the story of my prosecution for fifteen years at Tees Hazari Court New Delhi under section 124a(sedition) on the basis of one article ‘Secularism vis-à-vis Hindu Chauvinism’ published in Radiance Viewsweekly, Delhi in 1984)

“……… Sherwani is a fire-brand, which is evident from the periodic resolutions of the All-India Muslim Forum, of which he is the president. The forum is headquartered in Lucknow. His booklet in verse, Iblees and Maulanas is a biting satire on the state of affairs in Muslim religious life.

At the end, one is tempted to ask a question: Suppose Sherwani was caught in Islamic horror, rather than its secular variant, would he have survived to narrate his experience? To be precise, had he been accused by Iran’s mullahs or Afghanistan’s Taliban for sedition, would he have lived to recount the episode? No prize for guessing.”